Your Complete Guide to Nutrition for Older Adults

Posted By on August 1, 2022

Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs allows it to function properly and enables you to maintain your active, fulfilling lifestyle. Since nutrition plays such an important role in our lives, it is crucial to understand what foods to eat to help keep you healthy.

As we age, our nutrition needs change, and understanding these changing needs is the first step to healthy aging. At HarborChase Senior Living, we celebrate senior living and embrace healthy aging. Our upscale dining options combine luxury and nutrition, offering residents and guests the opportunity to discover culinary experiences that exceed their expectations/.

Our team created your complete guide to senior nutrition to help you better understand nutrition for older adults.

How Our Nutrition Needs Change with Age

Fewer Calories, Same Amount of Nutrients

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), “older adults generally have lower calorie needs, but similar or even increased nutrient needs compared to younger adults. This is often due to less physical activity, changes in metabolism, or age-related loss of bone and muscle mass.” 

The number of daily calories an individual needs is determined by their height, weight, muscle mass, and activity level. Because they do not burn as many calories and tend to eat less often, older adults need to be more mindful of the foods they eat, ensuring they are nutrient-dense.

To encourage healthy eating, we have put together a shopping list to show which foods you should add to your diet and the potential benefits they can provide to the different areas of the body. Get your free Healthy Foods Shopping List here.

More Protein

An article published in the National Institutes of Health states, “after the age of 30, adults lose 3-8% of their muscle mass per decade.” Adding more protein into their diet can help older adults maintain their muscle mass and prevent them from losing their strength.

More Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients for supporting bone health. Healthline states, “calcium helps build and maintain healthy bones while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.”

Age is a major risk factor for osteoporosis because our bodies absorb less calcium from our diets, and our skin is less efficient at absorbing vitamin D from the sun, leading to deficiencies of both of these nutrients. This is why aging individuals need to consume more foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Increased Risk of Dehydration

The average percentage of water in the human body is 60%, according to Medical News Today, and staying hydrated is important at any age. However, thirst receptors located throughout the body that detect changes in water levels become less sensitive as we grow older. Furthermore, “your kidneys help your body conserve water, but they tend to lose function as you age (Healthline).”

The result of these changes often leads to dehydration if individuals do not make a conscious effort to drink enough water each day.

3 Tips for Prioritizing Nutrition

  1. The USDA created MyPlate as a simple way to show how the five food groups should stack up on your plate. Take their quiz to see how you should stack your plate.
  2. Be a smart shopper! Whole foods are often found on the perimeter of a grocery store in the produce, meat, and dairy sections. When you do buy packaged foods, read the labels to find items that are lower in fat, added sugars, and sodium.
  3. Practice portion control to eat the right amount of food for your age and body type. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.

Nutrient-Dense Meals at HarborChase

At HarborChase Senior Living, our Executive Chefs craft cuisine to vitalize your senses and surpass your expectations throughout our thoughtfully designed and well-appointed restaurants. Whether you are in the mood for upscale contemporary, fine dining, or grab-and-go options, we have got you covered.

Throughout our luxury senior living communities, our farm-to-table philosophy shows our dedication to utilizing fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients that celebrate flavor and nutrition in every sip and bite. From the quality of our offerings to the atmosphere and service we provide, our attention to every detail conveys all the elements matched only by the nation’s best restaurants and luxury resorts. 

Our passionate Executive Chefs guide diners through a creative culinary journey that traverses contemporary and familiar cuisine. Your favorite request is just an ask away.

Nutrition is important in any stage of life, and at HarborChase, we focus on providing exceptional dining services that cater to >nutrition for older adults. To learn more about our luxury senior living ommunities and dining services, visit our website or contact one of our associates.